Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

American Son (Broadway)

From 385 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense

About the show

A Florida police station in the middle of the night. Two parents searching for answers. Kerry Washington (“Scandal”) returns to the Broadway stage alongside Steven Pasquale  ("Junk") in this unflinching new drama.


Marking the Broadway debut of playwright Christopher Demos-Brown and directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon ("A Raisin in the Sun," "Fences"), "American Son" offers a look at who we are as a nation, and how we deal with family relationships, love, loss, and identity. 

1h 30m | Already closed | Booth Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (385)


Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense
Avg Score

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Timely

See it if Want to see a thought-provoking play with timely theme and intensity.

Don't see it if Don’t like plays about racial diversity in America.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Intense

See it if You are aware of the social and political issues related to race in the United states and want to see a story that is powerful and important

Don't see it if You dont like plays or shows without a break.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense

See it if you want to see a great performance from Kerry Washington in a tense play on race, justice, and family.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a play this tense. The writing is at times predictable - the audience can guess where things are headed early on

Cliched, Banal, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Missed opportunity

See it if Ripped from the headlines drama about the confluence of race, class & policing interests you. The mundane becomes tragic with one slip.

Don't see it if Predictable results & volatile reactions occur because the script says so. The acting feels creaky. The play creates heat, but no light.

Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if You feel you need a primer 101 course in race relations

Don't see it if You expect anything new or different

Great acting, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Relevant

See it if You want to see a searing drama full of unpredictable twists and turns with a heart stopping conclusion.

Don't see it if You want to see an uplifting show.


See it if You are interested in a play about a couple dealing with racially charged incidents with their teenage son.

Don't see it if You want a play were dialogue and plot reveals are realistic. Everything feels false and pushing towards an "Ohhhh" ending.

Absorbing, Must see, Relevant, Intense

See it if You want to explore race and gender roles in America. You are fans of these stars.

Don't see it if You want a wrapped up story. You have any past trauma with police.

Absorbing, Relevant, Intense, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you want to see an intense drama that addresses relevant issues.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy serious plays or plays with racial themes.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting

See it if You are interested in relevant plays about relationships, family, race and politics. The show is moving

Don't see it if You aren't interested in the aforementioned

Absorbing, Edgy, Indulgent, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You're interested in plays regarding racial politics and cop relations in current-day America. If you want good acting and a solid script.

Don't see it if Plays aren't your thing; repetitive yelling about repetitive subjects is annoying; if you want something happy; if you don't support BLM etc

Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if Fans of Kerry Washington or individuals who like thought-provoking plays.

Don't see it if You’re looking for a light comedy.

Also Kerry Washington and Adam Pasquale give strong performances as the cou... Read more Read less


See it if You are looking for a play about a very topical social issue.

Don't see it if You dislike formulaic “issue” plays.

Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Resonant

See it if you like thought provoking plays that effectively presents issues on both sides of the story. Great acting, Washington was heartbreaking.

Don't see it if plays about racism and social injustice makes you uneasy.

Entertaining, Slow, Cliched, Political

See it if you're into the Black Lives Matter & Modern Civil Rights "movement". I'm not but appreciated that it attempted to equally show both sides.

Don't see it if It's a show that is designed to push a political agenda - nothing less & nothing more. Worth seeing (its done well) but also worth skipping.

Absorbing, Great acting, Gut-wrenching

See it if You enjoys plays, particularly those that discuss current issues performed by a small cast. You want to hear discussion of racism in America

Don't see it if Plays on racism bother you - you would rather not see screaming and crying - you are looking for more light-hearted entertainment.

Also Kerry Washington is outstanding. Brian Avers the Scott understudy gave... Read more Read less

Edgy, Great acting, Intense, Funny, Relevant

See it if you are interested in understanding why Black lives matter and what white privilege is. Also, Kerry Washington is amazing!

Don't see it if you don't think Black Lives Matter.

Relevant, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Intense, Provocative

See it if You are sensitive to racial issues and police brutality

Don't see it if you want something funny

Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You like a play which engages you emotionally and in current political issues.

Don't see it if You want a light entertainment and/or an escape from serious concerns.

Great acting, Intelligent, Must see, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if Must see drama if there ever was one. Beautifully done. Sadly, speaks of our current society. It’s scheduled to close it’s limited run 1/27

Don't see it if Unless you can’t handle dramas, you have to see it.

Cliched, Indulgent, Slow, Resonant, Intense

See it if you want to see a play that believes it's making a grand statement when in fact, it's mostly on the nose dialogue.

Don't see it if you want to see a fresh or new take on the subject matter.

Great acting, Intense, Relevant, Riveting, Vital

See it if you want to see a contemporary play that addresses issues of race, gender and class in bold and honest ways.

Don't see it if you want theatre that allows you to escape from the world rather than plays that hold up a mirror to the world.

Also Only 90 minutes long, but the play packs a shattering wallop. This is ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant, Edgy

See it if you are interested in hearing various sides of the debate about the tragedy of young black men being in danger all the time.

Don't see it if this very upsetting issue is not one you want to hear about for an hour and a half. The story brings in a lot of racial problems.

Also I'm sorry that some of the professional critics thought it was cliched... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you are interested in stories about the real world today.

Don't see it if you are satisfied the way African American people are treated by the police

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intense

See it if You want to a simple show that has such great twists and turns and keeps you on the edge of your seat

Don't see it if YOu don't like talky dramas

November 4th, 2018
"This is the director Kenny Leon’s best work to date: incisive and breakneck...These are big but nuanced performances...'American Son' is not a subtle play; it barely feels like a play at all. With its unrelentingly high tension on every level — maternal, marital, societal — it’s more like a slic...
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November 4th, 2018
"The rhetoric is heavy-handed, the grief and fear are unremitting, the brushstrokes are asphalt-thick, and there’s no subtlety...The play doesn’t need to establish suspense because we all know what’s happened...'American Son' is meant to make us sit with this grim certainty, and it strategically ...
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November 4th, 2018
"A dreadful play...Stale, expedient storytelling and go-for-the-jugular sentimentality...A contrived, TV-ish script peopled by one-note characters and peppered with amateurish flourishes...Its director, Kenny Leon, can’t push the material past its inherent paperback flatness...There’s nothing rem...
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November 12th, 2018
"“It’s hard—and, given the volume of choices, maybe ultimately impossible—to isolate the worst aspect of ‘American Son’…There’s the stilted, bulky dialogue, through which the characters deliver loads of exposition...Nobody says anything interesting, or funny, or surprising. The acting is even les...
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